Sector Focus: Social & Digital Media and E-Commerce - Mobile, Cloud and Infrastructure Software - Enterprise Software and Big Data Analytics - Security Technologies - Healthcare Information Technology
Investments include LivingSocial, Passport (NC), Payzer (NC)
Don Rainey is a venture capitalist with a long and active relationship in the academic arena as both a professor and mentor. He works with the state of Virginia, the federal government and others to assist in technology transfer from public and academic institutions to the commercial sector. Don’s area of investment expertise centers around Internet and social media-related startups. He is a prolific blogger and frequent contributor to various business and VC trade publications including BusinessInsider and VentureBeat. Don has also appeared regularly on Fox Business Channel, offering his views on the industry at large as well as first-hand experience on starting and running a company. Whether nurturing employees and young companies or advising government organizations and educational institutions, Don exemplifies the philosophy of giving back to the community that has supported him over the years.
After a long history of success in technology management positions, Don made the move into venture capital in 2000, first with Intersouth Partners, and currently with Grotech Ventures, which he joined as a general partner in September 2007. With over $1B US under management, Grotech focuses on early-stage information technology companies, based predominately in the greater DC area. Don currently serves on the boards of Grotech portfolio companies Clarabridge, Booker, HelloWallet, LivingSocial, Personal, SnappCloud, Payzer, Passport Parking, and Zenoss.
As strong believer that technology transfer represents a critical cornerstone to ensuring America’s leadership in the information and innovation economies. Don has been involved in a number of organizations to support this endeavor. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of James Madison Innovations, Inc., a non-profit corporation which helps commercialize intellectual property produced at James Madison University (JMU). He previously served on the board of Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties Inc., which has a similar goal.
In 2012, Don was named to the Board of Directors of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority (IEIA) which is the parent authority for The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT). In 2010, Don was appointed to a third term as an emerging technology consultant to the Chief Information Officer of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) through the DeVenCi Program. This public/private initiative consists of a handful of venture capitalists who volunteer their time to research and nominate companies that they feel can help answer the DoD’s unmet technology needs.
Don is an organizing board member of the prestigious MindShare forum. In this role, he helps CEOs from the Washington Metropolitan region’s most promising startups build long-term, sustainable companies. This invitation-only group provides its annual CEO class with an opportunity to meet peers, potential board members and prominent speakers in an intimate setting. There they exchange ideas and discuss current issues facing startup companies.
As part of the new breed of venture capitalists that bring direct, hands-on corporate experience to the table, Don boasts a long line of business success to his credit
Previously, he was president of Attitude Network, one of the first entertainment networks on the Internet and one of the ten largest websites at the time. He sold the company to TheGlobe.com for $49M in 1999. He developed and executed Attitude’s business strategy, and managed all operational issues related to its offices in Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and the UK.
Don also served as a founding board member for Accipiter, a leading Internet advertising management company acquired by CMGI in 1998. Before that, he managed channel distribution and brand marketing for IBM’s $2 billion Network Hardware Division, and established and managed product marketing and distribution in 50 countries.
Earlier, Don engineered DaVinci Systems’ successful turnaround as the company’s COO. He helped double the company’s revenues within four months, and completed a sale to ON Technology, which went public five months later.
See Don live as a Speaker at CED Tech Venture Conference 2016